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Mucormycosis Causes

Mucormycosis is often caused by common fungi which can be found in soil and decaying vegetation. Although most individuals are exposed to the fungi on a regular basis those with immune disorders are more prone to an infection.

Mucormycosis Definition

Mucormycosis also known as zygomycosis or phycomycosis is a rare yet life threatening and serious infection of fungi, usually affecting the face or oropharyngeal cavity. Occasionally, when caused by Pythium or other similar fungi, the condition may affect the gastrointestinal tract or the skin. It often begins in the nose and paranasal sinuses and is one of the most rapidly spreading fungal infections in humans.

Mucormycosis Diagnosis

As swabs of tissue or discharge are generally unreliable, the diagnosis of mucormycosis tends to be established by a biopsy specimen of the involved tissue. Computerized imaging techniques such as MRIs, CT scans and X-rays may be useful in the diagnosis of specific areas.[3][9] Differentials to consider in diagnosis of the infection include anthrax, aspergillosis and cellulitis.

Mucormycosis Symptoms and Signs

Mucormycosis frequently involves the sinuses, brain, or lungs as the sites of infection. Whilst orbitorhinocerebral mucormycosis is the very common type of the disease, this infection can also manifest in the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and in other organ systems.

Mucormycosis Treatment

If mucormycosis is suspected, prompt amphotericin B therapy should be administered due to the rapid spread and mortality rate of the disease. Amphotericin B is commonly administered for a further 4-6 weeks after initial therapy begins to ensure eradication of the infection. Posaconazole has proved to be effective against mucormycosis, perhaps more so than amphotericin B, but has not yet replaced it as the standard of care.

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